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On the First of May nart will be published, in Octavo,
CONDUCTED BY J. C. LOUDON, F.L.S. H. S. &c.
THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS EDITED BY GENTLEMEN EMINENT IN EACH.
The Drawings by Sowerby and HARVEY, and the Engravings by Branston.
........... All the natural objects which surround us are the subjects of Natural History, and much of the improvements and enjoyments of civilized life is founded on our knowledge of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Hence
PROSPECTUS OF THE
the utility of this study; and the endless variety of subjects which it embraces, the design and contrivance which it displays, and the peaceful nature of the pursuit, render it not less interesting and agreeable than it is useful. While the Mathematical Sciences subject the student to severe intellectual exercise, and Chemistry and Natural Philosophy require expensive and complicated apparatus,---every animal or insect that presents itself—a few plants which may be gathered anywhere-a few shells or pebbles which may be picked up on the sea-shore,--suffice to afford the Naturalist subjects of reflection, and an ample fund of intellectual enjoyment.
In the first dawnings of intellectual improvement, works of art are more admired than those of nature, because they are better understood : man in a rude state can comprehend what he has produced himself; he can see the adaptation of means to an end in a building or a machine, though he may not be able to trace the same evidence of contrivance in the structure of an animal or a plant, or have curiosity and leisure to watch the progress and scrutinize the economy of insects, and the lower orders of organized matter. Though the individual objects of Natural History have, probably, at all times excited a certain degree of curiosity in civilized man, according to their use, their rarity, or their singularity;. yet it is not till something of the system and contrivance of their all-powerful Author has been perceived, that the proper study of Natural History may be said to have commenced. Such a mode of examining animals, plants, and minerals, must obviously belong to an age when science in general is in an advanced state, and hence it is that the study of Natural History is more in repute at the present day, than it has been at any former period. Hence also it may be inferred, that being a pursuit characteristic of an improved state of human society, it is at the same time indicative in individuals of a mind comparatively refined and cultivated. We are much more anxious to recommend the study on this higher principle of conducing to elegant recreation and enjoyment, than as leading merely to profitable pursuits, or utility in the lower sense of the word.
Individuals are now occupied in every part of the Globe in discovering new objects, or in explaining the nature of those already known. New productions and new facts are thus so rapidly accumulating, that it requires no small exertion in the students of nature to keep up their state of knowledge with the progress of science.
To render this easier than it has hitherto been, is a principal object of this Magazine and Journal. The general conclusions that have been drawn from isolated facts, together with the most complete introduction to the science, will be found in an Encyclopædia of Natural History now in the course of preparation * ; all other facts, as they are discovered or ascertained, will be recorded in our Journal. This is the first and principal object of our work.
A second object is, to extend a taste for this description of knowledge among general readers and observers, and especially among gardeners, farmers, and young persons resident in the country. This we propose to do by subjecting every part of the science to discussion, in a language in which all technicalities are explained as they occur; by inviting every reader to communicate every circumstance, even the most trivial, respecting the native habits and economy of animals, the habits and habitations of plants, the localities of minerals and strata, and peculiar or striking states of the atmosphere ; by encouraging all
• It will be published by Messrs. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, in one volume, similar in size to the Encyclopædias of Gardening and Agriculture, and highly illustrated by original Drawings. The Editor and Authors of this work are well known Naturalists.
MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY.
who are desirous of information to propose questions, to state their doubts, the kind of information they desire, or their particular opinions, on any part of the subject. Observations which at first sight may appear trivial, are truly valuable when viewed in reference to general conclusions ; and this kind of information may be furnished by persons wḥolly unacquainted with Natural History as a science, but who, by exercises of this kind, are adopting the most certain and efficacious means of becoming scientific observers. In this way we hope to call forth a new and nunerous class of naturalists. We are convinced that, in doing so, we shall contribute to social improvement and personal enjoyment; because we are sure that the babits, the information, and the taste acquired by the pursuit of Natural History in youth, will contribute essentially to the enjoyment and usefulness of after-life.
Such are the objects of the Magazine of Natural History: to attain them, the work will be arranged under Six Divisions, as in the following table : 1. ZOOLOGY.-1. ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. 2. Reviews. 3. COLLECTANEA,
i. e. short Notices collected from various sources; Abstracts or Abridgments
of the most interesting Papers in Foreign Journals, &c. &c. II BOTANY,-1. ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. 2. REVIEWS. 3. COLLECTANEA. III. MINERALOGY.-1. ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. 2. Reviews. 3. COLLECTANEA. IV. GEOLOGY.-1. ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. 2. REVIEWS. 3. COLLECTANBA. V. METEOROLOGY.-1. ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. 2. REVIEWS. 3. COLLEC
TANEA. VI. THE GENERAL SUBJECT.-1. ORIGINAL PAPERS OF A MISCELLANEOUS DR
SCRIPTION, or embracing two or more Departments, or a topic common to the
whole of, Natural History. 2. ANALYTICAL REVIEWS or Books ON NATURAL HISTORY in general, such as
Elementary Works, Systems, Transactions of Societies, Travels, chiefly devoted to Natural History, and, in short, all such Works as are connected with the general subject, but which are not limited to any one of the foregoing
Five Divisions. 3. MISCELLANEOUS DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE relative to the general subject,
including Meetings of Natural History Societies, &c metropoliten and provincial. Notices respecting Museums, Sales of Objects of Natural History, Names of Dealers, Lists of Prices, Visits to Collections, &c.
Under this head it is almost needless to observe, that the British Museum, the Zoological Society and Garden, Linnean Society, Medico-Botanical Society, Geological
Society, and Wernerian Society, will be standing Articles. 4. MISCELLAN BOUS, COLONIAL, AND FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE, in which similar
Notices will extend to Foreign Institutions, Collections, Dealers, &c. and
the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes, will form a leading feature. 3. A COMPARATIVE CALENDAR OF NATURE for different Parts of the World, and
particularly for different and distinctly situated parts of Britain. 6. INDICATORIAL CALENDAR, pointing out the Objects to which the Student
ought to attend during the ensuing month; the Insects, Birds, or other Animals, and the Plants which should be collected; the Meteorological Ap
pearances worthy of Observation, &c. &c. 7. DESIDERATA; 1. é. topics or particular points of Natural History, foreign or
domestic, which require to be investigated, or respecting which farther information is desired. Many people in different parts of the world would wish to do something for Natural History, if they knew what to do : if their attention were directed, not to Natural History generally, but to particular objects or details. It will be the object of this article to direct friends of the science,
at home or abroad, to particular points of enquiry. 8. QUERIES AND ANSWERS TO QUERIES. 9. RETROSPECTIVE Criticism. 10. OBITUARY AND BIOGRAPHY. 11. CATALOGUE OF Books in the different Departments of Natural History, with
references to the pages of the proposed MAGAZINE, or of other Magazines,
Journals, or Reviews, in which they have been analysed or reviewed. 12. Notices OF WORKS IN THE PRESS OR IN PREPARATION.
allotted to each of these divisions and subdivisions, will be regulated by the supply of matter. The divisions may not all occur in the Number for any one month, but they will all found in the Volume for the year.
In each division and subdivision the following objects will be kept in view : first, to record every new fact belonging to the subject ; secondly, to render every part of the subject interesting to the amateur and general reader ; thirdly, to lead on the reader by degrees from the